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April 22, 2009

Gilchrist charges into second IPL encounter with a mission

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Adam Gilchrist, photo courtesy The Eternity

During a concert in Glasgow, Irish super group U2’s front man Bono called a halt to proceedings.

As he stood in the spotlight on stage, Bono’s Irish brogue echoed through the venue, asking for silence from the 30 000-strong crowd at the concert.

Slowly the crowd fell quiet until complete silence had descended on the concert.

Bono slowly began to clap.

“Every time I clap my hands,” he said, “a child in Africa dies.”

The audience watched spellbound as the vocalist paced the stage, clapping his hands.

Suddenly, from the front row of the venue, a voice broke out, “Well stop doing it then!”

Or so the story goes.

“What does this have to do with cricket?” you ask. Well, during the 2009 IPL, Australian batsman Adam Gilchrist will be aiming to hit 25 sixes to help fund 25 modified bikes for children with disabilities.

Every time he slaps one over the boundary to thunderous applause, a child in Australia will receive a modified bike through Amway’s Freedom Wheels programme, which the direct selling company runs in partnership with Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD). Amway is one of the largest marketing companies in the world, committed to giving something back to the community.

This time, people clapping signifies the arrival of an individually modified bike allowing children with disabilities to enjoy riding – often for the first time in their lives.

“As a father of three kids, I know how much fun riding a bike can be for a child. Now, every six I hit means a smile on a child’s face,” said Gilchrist, the captain of the Deccan Chargers.

The Deccan Chargers have played one game, an eight-wicket victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders, with Gilchrist scoring just 13 with no sixes.

However, the Chargers captain will have the opportunity to bring smiles to people’s faces today when the Chargers take on the Royal Challengers at Newlands.

The match starts at 16h30 local time.

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